Plattsburgh — Harold Brohinsky, 85, of Wolfe Way, Plattsburgh, died Friday, June 14, 2013, at Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington, Vt., with close loved ones by his side.
Those who were fortunate enough to know Harold Brohinsky knew he was a man who possessed brilliance, integrity, compassion, kindness, and humor in equal measure. Speaking with Harold was an adventure and a journey into greater understanding--sometimes quite serious, sometimes with much laughter. With Harold, one always felt heard, loved, and understood; he was a man with a great mind and even greater heart.
Harold was born in Brooklyn, NY, on May 25, 1928 to Russian parents, Isadore "Isser" and Bessie (Naroff) Brohinsky. He majored in Aerodynamics Engineering at Brooklyn Technical High School, where he was co-President with Joe Muranyi (who later distinguished himself as Louis Armstrong's last clarinet player). After graduation, Harold joined the Army. He was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, Texas and became a Surgical Technician Instructor, instructing in Anatomy & Physiology, orthopedic, surgical, operating room procedures, and ward management. This early teaching experience would foster a lifelong desire to learn, educate, and help others. He was Honorably Discharged in 1948 and received a World War II Victory Medal upon departure. Harold married and started a family, then moved to the North Country. He established Akey & Brohinsky Television Sales & Service in Plattsburgh. After his business partner's passing, Harold continued his work as a Certified Electronics Technician, changing the store name to Brohinsky TV Sales & Service. Overall, the business was successfully run for more than 50 years before Harold's retirement.
He was responsible for developing many community-based programs, including Grasshopper Baseball and the Human Rights Commission, the latter being a great source of pride. He was highly influential in leading the Stop Hate campaign in Plattsburgh. Harold was also instrumental in changing the Ward boundaries in Plattsburgh from 3 to 6, a plan adopted by the Common Council and named, "The Brohinsky Plan." He served on the Board of Trustees at Clinton Community College for many years as well as on the Board at the Plattsburgh Public Library. Active in the Democratic Party and politics in general, he loved election time. Harold was a Voting Machine Election Programmer, in charge of preparing all automatic voting machines for primary and general elections in the City of Plattsburgh. The Clinton County Democratic Commitee recently recognized him for his years of loyal service and commitment to advancing the principles which promote the general welfare of our citizenry by creating the Harold Brohinsky Committee Person of the Year Award. He was both humbled and awed that he would receive an honor such as that for just following his beliefs and ideals. Harold was an advocate and supporter of Planned Parenthood in Plattsburgh and received their Voice for Choice Award. He was committed to working for peace and justice. For 6 years, he wrote the "Left" side view of the "Conflicting Opinions" column in the Press-Republican. He took the progressive viewpoint on a broad range of topics, from free speech to defense to reproductive rights to education. He was a writer at heart, inspired in part by his famous Ukranian poet Uncle, Mani Leib, and was still active on the editorial page, in the letters to the editor and opinion pieces. In fact, his last editorial piece was published the day before his passing. As a lifelong scholar of the Constitution, this was true Harold. Even though he was physically silenced, his words rang out louder than ever.
Harold is survived by his sister, Hannah Bonilla of Woodstock, N.Y.; dearest friend, Ann Sharon Stevenson of Katy, Texas; his children and their spouses, Melissa Deems of Plattsburgh, N.Y., Amy and George Hubert of Worcester, Mass., William (Ray) and Debbie Brohinsky of Hanover, Conn., and Stephanie Freeman of La Jolla, Calif.; his grandchildren/spouses/great-grandchildren, Tabatha and James Finnegan and Averie of Keeseville, N.Y., Julianna and Austin Dormann and Asher of Fairbanks, Alaska, Francesca and Tripp Ashby and Victoria of WaterView, Va., Mary Heath and James Combs and David Consiglio of Plattsburgh, Claryn Heath and Adam Wheeler of Southbridge, Mass., Joy and Bernard Nanni and Bernie, Tricia, and Dade of Sprague, Conn., Isaac and Bethany Brohinsky and Elijah and Benjamin of Jacksonville, Fla., Melody Brohinsky of Hanover, Conn., Jesse and Jenni Brohinsky and Xavier of Preston, Conn., and Hope Brohinsky of Hanover, Conn.; a niece and her spouse, Natasha Bonilla Carrasquillo and Ralph Carrasquillo of Cortland, N.Y.; extended family and many close friends.
He was predeceased by his parents; and his son, James Brohinsky of La Jolla, Calif, in 2009.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. A memorial service celebration will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 30, 2013, at the Cliff Haven Beach, Champlain Drive, Cliff Haven, just north of Clinton Community College on Route 9, Plattsburgh.
Donations in his memory may be made to his granddaughter, Tabatha Finnegan, to be distributed to various charities he supported.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru.
To light an online candle and offer condolences in the memory of Harold Brohinsky please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com 643-9055